Tag Archives: mark rothko

happiness is a warm sun

Saturday 20 March 2010

Today is is the spring equinox, and nearly all this week the sun has been shining, with some record temperatures – mild, balmy, brighter and lighter days – and my little eggbox seedlings are surely pushing their way into the verdant world. Brighter days has helped with the etchings too, as I have been wearing magnifying glasses to draw the plates under a desk lamp…

As I was sifting through the contents of a cupboard for some possible frames and mounts for my new etchings, I came across the last nine of the one hundred paintings that I began in November 2008… I hadn’t scanned these until this week… and I noticed how, with a clean mount, the rustic, elemental nature of these little paintings became at once much more minimalist, dare I say smarter, cooler, that little bit more slick and stylish…


click to view larger version on etsy

However, I’m not a fan of mats or mounts, as I like to see the raw edges… I see these little paintings as small fragments…


[XCIV small abstract painting on paper]

In reality they all look much like these six from behind… I tear the paper to the required size first, then begin the monoprinting (aka monotyping) and painting…


[rear view of small paintings, aka verso]

if any evidence were needed that layer upon layer is added or blotted back, all made by paint-covered hands…

I remember once looking at the Tate’s collection of Rothkos and noticing the rough edges of the canvas, and I wondered what they might look like as abstract paintings from the back, on the verso – he painted in very thin layers onto unprimed canvas that soaked into the fibres (one for the conservators). What about all those notes and amendments to details that we add to our the back of our work? I sometimes add a label to larger works that describes the idea behind the work, title, name and address, web and email, the year, month started and/or completed, or revised… I know some artists who never date their work (or at least obscure it) – in that way their work never looks old to gallery eyes…

Here are the last nine scans of the series: XCII, XCIII, XCIV, XCV, XCVI, XCVII, XCVIII, XCIX and C…

Here’s the full one hundred paintings, I to C, aka chromatids, 2008-2009…


One hundred paintings, I to C, mixed media on paper

You can read the very beginning of the one hundred paintings here…

And finally, back to the printmaking (I seem to have lots of ongoing projects) – I had quite forgotten how long it might take to draw the lichenscape plates, so no finished prints to show today, but here is a sneak preview for avid followers of this blog (three, not counting my good self)…  I took a snapshot of one of the copper plates near the window…


[copper plate etching]

If there is one thing that I have missed over the last couple of weeks, it is drawing in my sketchbook outdoors.. so I will endeavour to get some sketching hours in the next week or two…

on seeing red

Thursday 21 January 2010

Another little pluglet for my inclusion in the upcoming Elements: Man and the Environment exhibition at The Forum, Norwich… and all because of this…

I delivered my work today and was somewhat astounded to see my work super-sized on this billboard poster…

ELEMENTS - art exhibition, the forum, Norwich

Here is a little blurb on this new art exhibition, courtesy of the Forum

Elements is a new exhibition of contemporary art which explores the theme Man and the Environment. With contributions by sixty artists from across the East of England. From the use of found objects and natural materials, to work addressing environmental degradation and the fragility of our natural habitat, the exhibition is a fascinating insight into what the relationship between man and the environment means to these artists.

With over 850 unique works of art to choose from, the judges had a difficult task in selecting the final exhibition. Artists were allowed to submit work in any medium, provided it could be displayed in The Forum and as long as it tied in with the exhibition’s theme. The final decision was made by a prestigious panel composed of the celebrated local artist Colin Self, a pioneer of the 1960s Pop Art Movement; former V&A Director Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll and former Principal of Norwich School of Art and Design Professor Bruce W. Black, along with a representative of The Forum Trust.

The exhibition will feature a wide variety of artwork including sculptures, paintings and video media, all exploring the theme ‘Man and the Environment’. Each artist was given free reign to address the complex relationship between man and the natural world in any way they wished.

Elements: Man and the environment is at The Forum, Norwich Tuesday 26th January – Monday 15th February 2010.

Rost had his very first public engagement in London in late 2008, precisely at the time of the financial banking crash in the city of London… very much, perhaps too much in the red


[solo exhibition, Centrepoint Tower, London, November 2008}

and then a little show in July 2009…


[Harleston Gallery – Art Trail taster exhibition)

So, me (or is that myself?) and Rost spent some quiet time together today, before the big trip out to the city… well, you never know…

and here are a couple of pics of ‘edgescape : rost’, as previously seen in this journal entry.

rost painting - detail
[rost, mixed media on canvas, detail]

roat painting - detail
[rost, mixed media on canvas, detail]

Sometimes, it’s better to be red than dead (Rothkoicism)… Feeling the chill?? try my ‘Rothko Red‘ soup